Have you ever asked someone to do something, only to have them completely ignore you? How did it make you feel? If you are like most people, you probably felt disrespected, as if your words had no authority or value. Whether it comes from a child, a spouse, a friend, or a church member, disrespect is difficult to accept. No one likes to be disrespected—including God. Yet each time we blatantly ignore Him, His Word, and His authority, it is an expression of disrespect toward Him.
God wants us to obey Him and those He has placed in authority over us, as well. So, what causes people to be disobedient? Selfishness. For example, no matter how many times I ask people not to leave service before the benediction is given, many still continue to do what they want to do even if it is a distraction to those around them. It amazes me how many times I can preach a message on walking in the love of God and the same people who have just heard the sermon demonstrate everything except the love of God as soon as they leave church!
Whether you realize it or not, disobedience is often linked to our emotions—we get caught up in how we feel at the moment. When people walk in disobedience, they may believe they are exercising their personal freedom. Their attitude is, “I have my own mind and no one is going to tell me what to do.” Others disobey because they feel as though their way is better. A great biblical example of this is found in the life of King Saul. He had this line of thinking when he decided to spare the sheep and the oxen to sacrifice to the Lord, even though God told him to kill everything. God quickly let him know that He desires obedience more than He desires sacrifice. Disobedience is actually a form of rebellion and witchcraft. Because of Saul’s disobedience, God rejected him as king (1 Samuel 15:22, 23).
God puts rules and guidelines in place, not to be mean or controlling, but to protect us. His commandments are an expression of love because He knows what can happen to us if we venture outside of them and do our own thing. As a loving Father, He gave us commandments so we could have a better life and experience true joy. Jeremiah 7:23 says, “Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people: and walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you.” When we take control of our emotions and decide to obey God rather than how we feel at the moment, we put ourselves in a position to be blessed.
It thrills God when we obey Him because it shows that we love Him enough to do what He says. We should get excited about obeying God’s Word and respecting His authority. In doing so, we can rest assured He will take care of us. Our obedience will draw us into a place of worship and allow us to have unbroken fellowship with Him.
Obedience is an act of love that must come willingly from your heart. God’s greatest commandment is to love Him and to love others. Resolve in your heart to love God enough to obey His Word even when you don’t want to. Love people enough to consider them more than you do yourself. And love your leaders enough to honor their words. Your blessings are determined by your obedience!
— Creflo A. Dollar